Troxes

A Playful Press Fit Kit of Parts

In its simplest form, Troxes are triangular building bricks, ready to be combined with neighbors. How those neighbors connect and arrange is up to you. Without constraint, Troxes are units of a system far more complex, hinting at endless possibilities.


Troxes started with my desire to create a modern cardboard construction kit, one that builds forms from triangles, just like our computers do. The fundamental starting piece would be the equilateral triangle and the volumetric form would be combinations of tetrahedra. The project evolved from simple tetrahedra (4 sides) to octahedra (8 sides) and icosahedra (20 sides). Since 3 of 5 total Platonic Solids are based on the equilateral triangle, Troxes can combine to form almost anything! In fact, the platonic solids were once thought to construct everything in the universe.

3 of the 5 Platonic Solids

Troxes take the form of 3 base volumes: Tetrahedron, Octahedron, and Icosahedron. Each of the volumes is created by mating either four, eight, or twenty base units together. Base units always connect to 3 other base units, but changing the number connected at each vertex results in different volumes.

The cast of characters from left to right: IcosaTrox, OctaTrox, and TetraTrox.
Packing pattern for 40 Trox units to fit on a 22" x 28" piece of 6-ply

The most common form for a Trox is 2.5" tetrahedra made of Railroad Board cardstock. A single 66 cent sheet of paper yields 40 Trox base units, currently the laser cutter is the biggest limitation. I look forward to migrating the process to a die-cutter.

IcosaTrox + TetraTrox

One of the initial inspirations for Troxes is Jef Raskin's art project from the 1970's Bloxes. While Jef's Bloxes are square in form, Troxes get to bloom and blossom into a variety of forms and the templates have been used across many scales. 

4 base units come together to form a TetraTrox

TetraTrox combine to form more complex structures. In the following example, 10 OctaTrox + 5 TetraTrox create this TroxStar.

TroxStar
Stop motion animation by Jamie Tsukamaki + Jonathan Bobrow

Troxes are not strictly architectural, ornamental, or playful. The possibilities are just getting started.

Thanks to MIT Center for Bits and Atoms and the Trotec Laser Cutter

Troxes all started in MAS.863 How to Make (Almost) Anything and the original exploration and documentation can be found here.


Continued process is documented here @ troxprocess.tumblr.com